Helmut Marko says the Red Bull RB18 still needs more visits to "Weight Watchers"
Helmut Marko has confirmed Red Bull did, as planned, roll out a lighter RB18 to finish 1-2 at Imola – but the car is still going to “Weight Watchers”.
It had always been the intention to shave a few kilos off Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez’s cars for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, which would help them to go quicker.
A targeted loss of eight kilograms was reported to be worth two tenths of a second per lap, and there was no question it was Red Bull’s weekend at the first European race of the campaign as Verstappen and Perez were holding Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in third when he spun 10 laps from the end and dropped to finish sixth in the grand prix.
The way Red Bull have been able to shed the excess weight is by bringing lighter components, the benefit of which is not only faster lap time but less tyre degradation – an area in which they had the advantage over Ferrari at Imola, especially in the sprint.
YES BOYS 🔥
Winning here today caps off a perfect weekend for us. Very happy with the performance from the car and the team this weekend, so thank you to @redbullracing for that.
Good to see @SChecoPerez coming in second, let’s build on this #ImolaGP pic.twitter.com/1bk18rCOVh
— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) April 24, 2022
It is an ongoing process, however, according to Red Bull advisor Marko.
“The updates we brought to the track at the weekend all worked well,” Marko, who will celebrate his 79th birthday on Wednesday, told Motorsport.com.
“The car has lost weight but we still have work to do in this area. We are still above the minimum weight of the FIA.
“That means we have to work towards that number in several steps. But it’s normal. At Weight Watchers, you don’t lose all the weight in one time either.”
After having to retire from two of the season’s first three races due to car breakdowns, Verstappen enjoyed exactly the Imola weekend he needed as he collected the maximum 34 points available and cut Leclerc’s lead in the World Championship to a still sizeable 27.
The reigning World Champion was relieved to get back on track so emphatically.
“We brought upgrades but I don’t know, of course, how much that actually gave us because of just the hectic weekend with the rain and dry,” said the Dutchman.
“It’s very difficult to judge, but we definitely were on top of things a bit better than Australia. So I’m just very pleased with how we executed the whole weekend.
“We were just on top of everything and that’s sometimes more important than actually bringing something new.
“I guess time will tell now in upcoming races how much the upgrades are benefiting us.”
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